Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Great Craft Beer Swindle

With news from the US of yet another takeover of a much-loved local craft brewer by a multinational, how long can it be before we see the same thing happen in the UK?

On Saturday, walking up a hill in the middle of nowhere with barely any mobile reception, we attempted to continue a conversation on Twitter on this subject — a mistake, with hindsight. This post is an attempt to set out our thoughts a bit more clearly, though they’re still just ponderings.

Britain’s ‘craft revolution’ (if you accept that we had one) began either in around 2005 (Thornbridge, BrewDog), or in the early 1970s with the emergence of CAMRA and microbreweries (Selby, Litchborough, Godson, &c.), depending on how you look at it.

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Session #93: Why Travel?

For this edition of the monthly beer blogging Session, Maria and Brian at the Roaming Pint ask:

Why is it important for us to visit the place where our beers are made? Why does drinking from source always seem like a better and more valuable experience? Is it simply a matter of getting the beer at it’s freshest or is it more akin to pilgrimage to pay respect and understand the circumstances of the beer better?

As it happens, we do believe that drinking a particular beer at or near source often seems ‘better and more valuable’ and, yes, we suspect it is sometimes to do with freshness. But there are other factors at play, too.

In Southwold, Suffolk, early last month, we had some of the best Adnams’ beer we’ve ever tasted, within sight of the brewery itself (of which more on 29 November). It must make a difference, mustn’t it, to drink a beer where those who brew it convene for their post-work pints?

Continue reading Session #93: Why Travel?

News, Nuggets and Longreads 03/05/2014

Bloke drinking beer.

Happy day, brothers and sisters! Here’s your Saturday morning reading sorted.

Thornbridge has been declared the best drinks producer in the UK by BBC Radio 4 Food Programme‘s Food and Farming awards. BrewDog came third. (The stories of both breweries are covered in some detail in Brew Britannia.)

→ Yvan Seth (who is now running a beer distribution business) has given some thought to how the cost of a pint breaks down.

(We’ve been brewing a post for while on a related subject: what impact might the introduction of the minimum wage and statutory holiday entitlement have had on the price of beer in the pub?)

→ News from Nick Mitchell of more single-hop ales from Marks & Spencer:

It did seem that the craft beer revolution had stopped being able to squeeze into its tight girl jeans and instead had pulled a nice comfy Blue Harbour rugby shirt over its growing paunch when Marks and Spencer started selling single-hopped beers…

Ushers sign

→ Saved to Pocket this week: Simon Usborne’s piece for the Independent on how the old Usher’s brewery ended up in North Korea.

→ Our new favourite blog is The Quest for Edelstoff in which a German living in the UK attempts to perfect the home brewing of Bavarian-style beers through perseverance and precision.

→ We’re looking forward to trying this historically-inspired beer at North Bar in Leeds when we make our appearance on 19 May:

→ And, finally, we’re no experts, doesn’t Jim Koch’s magic anti-drunkenness yeast goop only work, if and when it does, because of the placebo effect? Decide you’re not going to get drunk and you won’t? (Which goes the other way, too.)

Poll: the Provenance of Beer

This poll is now closed.

On Sunday, we drank a great pint of Camden Hells, but were slightly concerned that we didn’t know for sure whether the beer in our glass was brewed in the UK, or in Germany.

We want to know whether transparency about place of manufacture is important to other people, hence this small, extremely unscientific poll.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 2014-01-29 12:35:11
end_date 2014-01-30 17:00:00
Poll Results:
Do you think it is important for a brewery to declare where a beer is made?

The results of this poll fed into this blog post.